So, after more than a year of procrastinating, I’ve finally finished the second draft of my Dark Fae novel.
What this means in reality is that I’ve decided enough has been done for now, and sat back, pushing my laptop away from me like a half finished dinner plate. See, the problem with editing is that you’re never done. You could always tighten something up, rewrite a clunky line of dialog, find a smarter way to pull things together, or simply worry forever about whether the background is coming through as tiresome exposition or if you’re managing to be subtle about it. Or too subtle. Or–you get the picture.
The big problem is that if you stare at something long enough, you stop seeing it. Or start wondering if you’re seeing it right. That’s the problem with becoming over-familiar with your text; you stop being able to tell if the jokes are funny, if the action is fast paced enough, if the pace is too slow or fast. You lost objectivity, and then before you know it you’re floundering in a mire of endless corrections to corrections as you second guess yourself into oblivion.
Suffice to say, that way lies madness.
So, what I’ve done is burn through the second edit in one day (Kaitlyn’s notes from back when she read the first draft were truly and utterly invaluable). I added a major chunk in the final third, I cut out a ton of ornate and flowery and pointless language in the first three chapters, I tore out all the ‘almosts’ that robbed my words of power, I clarified some plot points that had proved too subtle, and after seven hours of straight work (4 mugs of tea, three different meals and all of it sitting in my kitchen, working on my new laptop), I declared myself done.
What was exciting was how much I enjoyed going back to it. Over the past year the thought of editing this novel was like an albatross around my neck; the prospect weighed me down, robbed me of animus, to the point where I was beginning to just drop kick the book away and forget about it. But, prompted by Will’s challenge, I dove back in, and found myself chuckling at a few lines. I would flick through the pages, and my eye would catch on a certain paragraph, and then I’d keep reading, just enjoying the flow of things. All of which bodes well; I’m glad that in the end I still like my novel, and can only hope with the most fervent of hopings that the agents shall like it too.
So. It’s been emailed to Will, and I’m reading a chapter out loud each night to Grace in order to give the language one last check. Then, when the results are all in, it’ll be back to querying. Oh boy.